Tobias Ahlin: Making Better Design Predictions with Design Bets

Photo: Callum Kerr

One of the main challenges in designing and developing a product is figuring out how to improve it. How do you get from your ideas to your end goal? And how do you know if you’re on the right track to achieving what you want? Design Bets is a product management framework that aims to help you with this, pulling together research on the best ways to make informed, unbiased decisions.

Last year, I saw Tobias Ahlin, the Experience Design Director for Minecraft, give a talk on Design Bets at DiBi 2017. I was so inspired that I ended up using it on a project we are currently running. This year, we invited Tobias to come back to Edinburgh to speak to us at the University.

A recording of the talk is available publicly on the University’s Media Hopper service:

After each of our events, I find it interesting to go back and see who has attended. As this talk was on a holiday I didn’t expect to get a large crowd, but we still ended up with an audience of around 60 attendees in the lovely Adam House theatre.

Not surprisingly, the majority of the attendees were from Information Services. We had a lot of people attending from the Project Services group (i.e. project managers), which makes sense given the topic. The next largest group was from the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, followed by the College of Science and Engineering, and then other support services. Most of the audience (91%) was staff.

Photo: Callum Kerr

Overall, this was a really useful and inspiring talk. After the talk, everyone had so many questions that we ended up running over. It was great to see how interested and engaged everyone was, and several people contacted me afterwards to let us know how much they enjoyed it.

I was also surprised to see how much of the content had been updated by Tobias since I last saw it! He estimated that at about half of what he presented was new since DIBI. I highly encourage everyone to check out the recording.